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Kodak 5-1/2" Anastigmat
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troublemaker



Joined: 24 Nov 2003
Posts: 715
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:36 am    Post subject: Kodak 5-1/2" Anastigmat Reply with quote

I have a Kodak 5-1/2" Anastigmat 4.5 lens (ser no. 17363). It also reads 3-1/4 x 4-1/4 on the ring. It's an old black barrel just like the 7-1/2 on my 4x5 RB and I am assuming that the 5-1/2" is the standard for the 1920-30's mid size RB Graflex. I'm thinking both of these are tessar designs?
It's a nice piece of glass, and seems to offer limited 4x5 coverage like the 127 tessars. Wasn't sure which way to go, 23 Speed or 45 Speed, but think I will set it up on the 4x5 as the focal lenth is excellent for the 45 series Kalart and I can use 120 roll backs if I want.
So I am interested in anyone's information or experience with these lenses. Thanks
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1881
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It should be a tessar type. To make sure, count reflections. If it is a tessar there will be four strong reflections from the front cell, two strong and one weak from the rear cell. The weak reflection can be hard to see. I find counting reflections easier if I remove one cell from the barrel.

For more info on Kodak Anastigmats and other lenses, visit http://www.prairienet.org/b-wallen/BN_Photo/Kodak_index2.htm . Click on Kodak Ektars, then on Lens Lineage.

Cheers,

Dan
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pv17vv



Joined: 22 Dec 2001
Posts: 255
Location: The Ardennes, Belgium

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kodak Reference Handbook ©1945 says :

Lens No 31
Focal Length in inches 5 1/2
Recommended Negative Size inches 3 1/4 x 4 1/4
Angle of View When Focused at Infinity 33° x 42°
Attachment Size 1 9/16 in or 39.5 mm or Ser. VI
Infrared Focusing Extend lens from visual focus by .012 inch or .3 mm

Georges
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Billy Canuck



Joined: 04 Apr 2006
Posts: 151
Location: Calgary AB Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, the 5-1/2" (No. 31) Kodak Anastigmat is the standard lens on the 2x3 RB Graflex. The standard lens on the 3x4 RB is the 6-3/8" (No. 32) Kodak Anastigmat. The longer focal lengths on these standard lenses are needed to clear the mirror in the SLR design.
The 5-1/2" lens will cover 3x4 on the Speed and Crown Graphics. It will also just cover 4x5 without movements and was often used in this way by press photographers who wanted a slightly wider point of view.
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DHF845



Joined: 20 Jul 2008
Posts: 93
Location: Hudson Valley Area, Upstate NY

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:36 am    Post subject: 5-1/2 in.Kodak Anastigmat Reply with quote

The no. 31 K.A. was standard on the fixed-back 3-1/4 X 4-1/4 Series B and Auto Graflex. Its circle of coverage is being pushed pretty far for 4x5. It's not a wide-field lens. It may cover 4x5, but not sharp at the edges at maximum aperture. Stopped down, I'm sure it'll be great. The old press boys used 127 & 135 mm lenses on 4x5 Speeds all the time. Of course, they were always shooting at f/8 or smaller, with flashbulbs day or night, and I don't think edge sharpness was their first concern. Depends on what you're after. Btw, the standard Graflex K.A. lenses of the 1920's to 1940's were all 4 element "Tessar-types".
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troublemaker



Joined: 24 Nov 2003
Posts: 715
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys. By coincidence the lens barrel threads right onto the flange mount for my Cooke 7", which I have 23 series and 45 series boards already set up so I can test it out before I decide if I want it coupled to a RF. It smelled a little like my other uncoated tessars, but because its age it didn't have much to offer by way of the taste test. Looks like tessar, smells like tessar, tastes like...
GG suggests this should make some great images.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1439
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Five-and-a-half inches converts to 139.7 mm (5.5 x 25.4). Can't say as I've ever seen or heard of such a focal length before. Could this really be the standard lens for 3-1/4 x 4-1/4, i.e., is 5.5"/139.7mm the diagonal measurement of the format? Anybody know offhand?
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Billy Canuck



Joined: 04 Apr 2006
Posts: 151
Location: Calgary AB Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other sides. So -- rounded off -- the sum of the squares on the other sides is 10.6" + 18.1" = 28.7". Square root of 28.7" = 5.86", in metric 136. 1. The only bit of high-school geometry I remember.
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1881
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Henry, I think the generally accepted normal focal length for 3.25" x 4.25" is 5", 127 mm. The bible, 10th ed, recommends 5" or 5.5" as a standard lens for the 3x4 Pacemakers, 5.5" for older Speeds.

FWIW B&L and Wollensak offered 138 mm lenses (nominal 5.5", your arithmetic is right). I have a 138/4.5 Graphic Raptar and a B&L-made Zeiss Kodak Anastigmat f6.2 No. 2 of around the same focal length in the drawer. I believe that as I type this there's a 139/4.5 B&L Tessar Ic offered on eBay as an enlarging lens.

Cheers,

Dan
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troublemaker



Joined: 24 Nov 2003
Posts: 715
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just call it 140mm or 5-1/2" and leave it at that. The 135 Optar is more like 132, so not a big deal.
I think if you look at full format images made in 2-1/4 x 3-1/4, or even 2-3/4, format with a 101mm vs a 127mm or 135mm you might agree with my view that the later produces a more normal image (not based on math) and that the 101 is slightly wide. The 127mm will still be wide on a 34 series camera. As crime scene and press lens choice the semi-wides seemed to be the lens of choice: 127 and 135mm for 4x5, 127mm for 3x4, and 101-105mm for 2x3's. The 101-105mm being the only one approaching normal for the format. I believe 110mm is considered normal for the 2x3's (6x9). But to me it's more subjective than a math problem. A 110mm or slightly shorter lens ( I use a 103mm often) for use in landscape will still smallify backgrounds like mountain ridglines or peaks etc, pushing them farther back than the in your face look of being there, while a 135 will offer a more literal translation. Problem is there is ussually the necessity of compromise in the mountains for just this reason. The peaks and ridges are right up over you so that big compositions with some near far and sky require ussually no more than the 101-105mm range, often in the verticle. The 135 gets left in the car rather than carry the extra weight. But around town or shooting around the auto a 127 or 135 lens gets a lot of use on the 2x3's whereas the 203 Ektar sees a lot of service on the 4x5 as a normal.
Seems to me the Graflex SLR's carried lenses closer to normal, and it makes sense to me that the 5-1/2 would go on the 2x3; the 6-3/8 on the 3x4 and the 7-1/2 or longer on the 4x5. The 5-1/2" having the 3x4 format markings on the lens ring made me wonder.
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1881
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trouble, there's not a really tight definition of what 2.25" x 3.25" means. I've always understood it to be 56 mm x 82 mm; that size's diagonal is 99 mm. If you accept that the gate's diagonal is the format's normal focal length, 2x3's normal lens really is 100 mm (close enough to 4").

The thing to remember is that formats' actual sizes are a bit smaller for film than for plates and that the larger formats originally used plates. So for them actual size is now a bit smaller than nominal. The internet is filled with complaints about this and with wrangles about which focal length is normal for a format. Lotta heat, not much light.

Graflex's mirrors force them to use lenses that are longer than normal.

There's another headache when talking about which focal length is normal. The focal lengths called normal for motion picture formats are much longer than the gates' (camera and the somewhat smaller projector) diagonals. Cine cameras' "normal" is a convention, usually means around 2x the format's diagonal. I've seen an explanation to the effect that this allows the camera to be placed usefully (safely?) far from the subjects.

And then there's the idea of normal as "usually delivered with the camera." If you do the arithmetic you'll find that the diagonal of a 35 mm still camera's gate is 43 mm. By convention and historical accident, everyone thinks of 50 mm as normal for that format. And back when no one knew how to make a fast lens that was retrofocus enough, the "normal" f/1.4 and faster lenses sold for 35 mm SLRs were 57-58 mm. Shades of Graflexes, eh?

Cheers,

Dan

Cheers,

Dan
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1439
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, guys. I like to keep the theoretical stuff in mind, so I appreciate the input of those who know much more than I do about this aspect. As well, I think we can all concur in the desire to use the best lens that will give the results we seek, given the particular challenge on hand. I, too, like the 135 for 2x3 (i.e., 6x7) work when I'm doing cityscapes (building façades and the like; it's great for getting a faceful of building front from across the street, unless you're in Philadelphia where the streets tend to be about 12" wide!).
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1881
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Henry, personal preferences don't often agree with the "rules." I don't see why they should. For years my favorite walking-around lens on a Nikon was a 105.

Cheers,

Dan
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troublemaker



Joined: 24 Nov 2003
Posts: 715
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dan. Yeah I know, math, but I don't do math unless I have to. And I've read a lot of these internet discussions about what's considered normal for a particular format, some of it can be interesting for a while, and ussually based on someone asking what lens they should get. But as far as what I consider normal, it's personal preference based on my experiences and looking at images. But if this makes me not normal, technically, I'll change the language so said above will not create a sittuation in which highly subjective attempts to suggest objective reasoning in which the ill-advised may be missled, and thereby informed incorrectly, so I can still say what I feel necessity requires without causing trouble and maintain a reasonable facade of normality, but not necessarily nominaly correct. (ouch, that hurt my head).
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mopar_guy



Joined: 07 Aug 2008
Posts: 126
Location: Washington, the State

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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